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Avoiding Wildlife Problems

Springtime, when most wildlife are having their babies, is the obvious time to safeguard your house and prevent animals from making their home in your home. However, there are good reasons to be vigilant during other seasons as well. During the summer, they seek cool basements and shade from the blistering sun. Fall is the season to stockpile food in dry places, like your attic, for the long cold winter ahead which also causes them to seek shelter so it is always a good idea to make sure your home is animal proof.

Raccoons like to have their babies in a quiet place. Hollow trees, old woodchuck holes and vacant buildings make a good place to raise their young. When these are not available, they have no problem using your chimney or attic for their nursery. These areas in your home are usually very quiet and, in some cases, you may not even know that you have any animals in residence. It is very costly to remove these animals from your home. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep these animals out in the first place.

Make sure that your chimney is properly covered with a Spark Arrester. Not only will this keep animals out of your chimney, but it will also help to control sparks coming out from your fireplace. All new homes and new work done to fireplaces in Pittsford must have these covers installed. Make sure that all roof vents and gable vents are in good condition. Over time, these vents can break down. Check to make sure that the screening is in good condition inside the vents. Raccoons and squirrels can very easily get into your attic if these are not in good condition.

Check your overhangs for rotted wood, which makes it very accessible for raccoons and squirrels to get in your house. It is also a good idea to trim tree branches away from your roof, which will deter animals.

Keep any food that you may store in your garage, including birdseed and pet food, in a properly closed container. Keep your garbage in your garage or in an area where the animals can't get to it. Once they find a food source, they will keep coming back until the food is gone. Many of us like to feed the birds, but this will attract other animals, especially squirrels, raccoons and sometimes rats to visit your feeders. If you encounter this and do not want the animals there, stop feeding the birds and clean up the area. After a few weeks, you can start to feed the birds again, but you should frequently clean up the feeding site.

Some people think it is wonderful to feed the animals. They are not only bringing a potential animal problem to the neighborhood, but they are not helping the animal at all. There is plenty of food for the animals to find on their own. These animals will get used to you feeding them, and this will interfere with them getting their food. One problem with feeding the animals is what happens to them when you stop. This is one reason homeowners and their neighbors start to have problems. It is best to leave the animals alone and let them live as nature intended.

For answers to your questions, feel free to call the Town Animal Control office 248-6240.